MICHELE NORRIS, host:
Jonathan Evison's new novel, "West of Here," explores a fictional town in Washington state. For other lovers of America's western landscape, here are his suggestions for our series, Three Books.
Mr. JONATHAN EVISON (Author, "West of Here"): As a reader, I'm looking for an authentic experience. I want to be inside the story completely with no thought of myself. "The Call of the Wild" by Jack London was the first book to completely own me. The experience was cold and brutal and visceral. London put me inside the fur of a dog for over 100 pages. And when I came out the other side, half starving and totally alert, I was a different person.
London was a genius storyteller. And aside from the occasionally overwrought sentence or grandiose sentiment, he knew how to get out of the reader's way and tell an utterly consuming story.
Benjamin Percy's "The Wilding" has garnered favorable comparisons to James Dickey's spare masterpiece, "Deliverance." Both novels are set in wild locales on the verge of domestication, and both novels explore the nature of what we call wilderness. However, Percy's novel employs a wider lens, utilizing numerous and fascinating points-of-view, to tell a story that is at turns chilling, illuminating, and above all, adventurous. Like London, Percy puts us inside fur, though of an all together different variety.
Though it will get under your skin completely, the first two-thirds of Frank Norris'�"McTeague,"�are not exactly what you might consider an adventure. But once Mac kills his wife, steals her fortune, and runs for Mexico, the adventure is on, and the conclusion is one of the great endings in all of literature.
"The Call of the Wild,"�The Wilding"�and�"McTeague"�all offer the sort of gripping, skin-crawling adventure that will dominate you as a reader.
NORRIS: Jonathan Evison's new novel is called "West of Here."